FHWA Approves 35 State EV Charging Infrastructure Plans

The Federal Highway Administration said it has approved 35 or more than two-thirds of the electric vehicle or EV infrastructure deployment plans submitted by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico in early August.

[Above photo by the Arizona DOT]

Those states with approved plans can now unlock more than $900 million in fiscal year 2022 and 2023 funding available through the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure or NEVI formula program, FHWA said. The agency noted that the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, enacted in November 2021, provides $5 billion in funds for the NEVI program over the next five years.

Photo by the Arizona DOT

According to a statement, FHWA said state departments of transportation with approved EV infrastructure plans could start receiving reimbursement for construction costs and gain more options to use their NEVI funds for projects directly related to the charging of a vehicle.

Such projects include the upgrade of existing and construction of new EV charging infrastructure, operation and maintenance costs of these charging stations, installation of on-site electrical service equipment, community and stakeholder engagement, workforce development activities, EV charging station signage, data sharing activities, and related mapping analysis and activities.

The agency added that is working to approve the remaining plans as quickly as possible, reviewing them on a “rolling basis” until those approvals are finalized.

The NEVI formula program is just one type of funding available to advance EV deployment, FHWA noted. Additional funding sources include:

  • The Inflation Reduction Act, which FHWA said provides tax credits to purchase new and used electric vehicles, as well as making an additional $3 billion to help support access to EV charging for economically disadvantaged communities through the Neighborhood Access and Equity Grant program.
  • The CHIPS and Science Act, which the agency said provides $52.7 billion for American semiconductor research, development, manufacturing and workforce development. This includes $39 billion in manufacturing incentives, including $2 billion for the legacy chips used in automobiles.
  • Ten percent of the NEVI Formula Program that is set aside each fiscal year to fill gaps in the national network through discretionary grants.
  • The $2.5 billion Discretionary Grant Program for Charging and Fueling Infrastructure, which FHWA said is intended to support equity commitments for increasing EV charging access in rural, underserved and overburdened communities.
  • The cumulative $7 billion in funding to support an end-to-end domestic supply chain for domestic EV battery manufacturing available through the U.S. Department of Energy.

FHWA noted it is also working on related efforts to establish ground rules for spending NEVI funds. For example, the agency published a notice of proposed rulemaking on proposed minimum standards and requirements for NEVI funding in June and plans to finalize that rulemaking “expeditiously” following comments from industry stakeholders.

[Editor’s note: The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials sent a 13-page letter to FHWA on August 20 providing feedback on the agency’s proposed NEVI program rulemaking.]

FHWA also proposed a “Buy America” waiver that would allow a short ramp up period for the domestic manufacturing of EV charging, which AASHTO commented on as well.

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